Huge claim against mayor over Stonewood Homes collapse

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Queenstown’s mayor may be ordered to pay more than $28 million over the collapse of Stonewood Homes, amid allegations of reckless trading.

Both Boult and former Stonewood managing director Brent Mettrick deny the claims, with Boult saying he acted in “good faith” as director.

Stonewood went into receivership on February 22 2016, owing unsecured creditors $15 million.

It was later placed into liquidation.

About 110 home buyers were affected by the collapse.

High Court documents released to the Otago Daily Times show Boult, a former director of Stonewood, and Mettrick are accused of three counts of breaching their duties as directors under the Companies Act 1993.

The claim, lodged in the Christchurch High Court by liquidators Rhys Cain and Rees Logan on July 31, also alleges Boult is liable to repay hundreds of thousands of dollars in directors fees because his remuneration for two companies was not properly authorised, fair, or added to the interests register.

The breaches of directorship duties relate to claims the pair allowed companies to continue trading while insolvent, that Boult “actively dissuaded” Mettrick from accepting another offer to buy the company while he was making offers at the same time, and that the pair put their personal interests above the best interests of the companies.

A total of $28,369,000 is being sought jointly from Mettrick and/or Boult, while Boult is also being sought for an extra $267,592.20 in repayments of his directorship fees.

Mr Mettrick is being sought for an additional $1,814,273.

The claim relates to Stonewood Homes Limited (SHL), Stonewood Homes New Zealand Limited (SHNZL), and Holmfirth Group Limited (HGL).

In his statement of defence Boult denies the allegations, saying he did not make an offer to buy the company.

He also denies the companies were insolvent for several months, as stated in the claim, and that their continued trading caused substantial risk to creditors.

daisy.hudson@scene.co.nz